Volunteers are the heart of the ReStore
When you help out at the Habitat ReStore, you help your community and the environment. ReStore proceeds cover the majority of Habitat’s operating costs, so donations go directly toward building affordable homes. At each of our two ReStores, we renew 32 tons of products and recycle over nine tons of metal every month.
You’ll be interacting with donors and customers – and some pretty terrific staff!
As a ReStore volunteer, you could be accepting donations, prepping and pricing them for sale, stocking shelves, recycling metal, helping customers with their purchases, and more. If you’re looking for variety in a volunteer job, you’ve come to the right place!
Not only will you be helping to fulfill a vision where everyone has a safe, affordable place to live, but you’ll also enjoy flexible scheduling, new friendships, and a 25% discount at the ReStore.
Whether you’re preparing donations for sale or running sales through the cash register at the ReStore, you’re helping to fulfill a vision where everyone has a safe, affordable place to live.
There are a vast variety of opportunities available at the ReStore. Here are some of the regular roles that we are always looking for volunteers to fill.
A very social role! Volunteers greet customers as they enter the store; handle cash, credit and debit transactions at the till; answer the phone, fielding questions related to our ReStore and scheduling pick-ups and deliveries; support sales of 50/50 and other raffle tickets; and merchandise the sales floor.
Put your love of electronics to good use! All electronics donated to the ReStore are tested by volunteers before they are sold. This includes testing items such as stereos, speakers, game controllers, televisions etc. All items are given a gentle clean and are priced and prepared for the sales floor. A procedure handout is given, and training is provided to assist volunteers in creating a consistent pricing standard. Any non-working electronics are recycled.
General Donation Inside Receiver
Receiving volunteers help sort donations as they come into the ReStore. Our staff will determine if we can accept the donation, and then all donations are cleaned, looked over for any damage or broken pieces, then priced for sale on the floor. This role has a lot of movement, some lifting, and lots of variety. It’s perfect for that volunteer who likes to move around and doesn’t mind a bit of effort. You may be asked to help carry heavy items from receiving onto the sales floor or to help carry customers’ purchases into their vehicles. You’ll also assist staff in the cleaning of furniture, kitchen cabinet donations, and appliances.
Do you like to sort, organize, and reign in clutter? Come in a couple of times a month to help organize and tidy up our ReStore merchandise shelves and receiving area. Sometimes this will involve clearing our bins or sorting through books, or organizing the shelves of cleaning substances we use to clean donated items or wherever a disorganized pile has developed. The ideal person is someone who works well independently, can prioritize and label, and isn't discouraged from a disorganized array of stuff. Individuals who like to create harmony out of chaos like this are the unsung heroes of our work, as so much more can be accomplished with a little bit of straightening up.
The ReStore is looking for some help with dismantling kitchen cabinetry that will then be sold through the ReStore. Like to get in and tear things apart? We are looking for people with some construction experience who can work with other volunteers as a team to take out kitchens. Time commitments are flexible.
All lights and fans are tested before they are put on the sales floors. Volunteers will hook up and test all ceiling lights, table lamps, fans, or light bulbs that are donated. Once a light has been tested and is determined as appropriate for sale, then a gentle clean and tidying of it is required. Any lights not working are recycled. Training is provided.
Calling all antique/collectable/rare item fanatics! We often receive rare and valuable items at the ReStore, and we need you to help us spot and put a value on them. Volunteer researchers will sleuth out the function, origin and value of these items to help us set a true-value price tag on them. Researching the history of these oddities helps us determine the best way to sell them to achieve their full value. These items could include original artwork, vintage tools, rare pottery or china, or comic books.
The recycling room is where volunteers really get to make a positive impact on the environment by keeping items out of landfill! Volunteers strip away the valuable metals attached to non-working appliances, electronics, scrap metal and other odds and ends that come into the ReStore. By sorting and separating the high-value metal from scrap metal, we generate revenue that goes towards building homes. Volunteers will learn the difference in the manufactured materials, and they will deconstruct, sort and recycle many of the items that would normally go into landfill.
Small Appliance Tester
Every electric appliance donated to Habitat is tested and cleaned to ensure its suitability for sale in the ReStore. Volunteers in this area test every small appliance that comes through our doors, such as toasters, vacuums, blenders, coffee makers, slow cookers, and fans. Each one is inspected for damage, frayed cords, or missing pieces. Then they are cleaned, priced and prepared for the sales floor. If the appliance doesn’t meet the criteria for sale, they are recycled for any salvageable components. If you’re a problem solver, this is an excellent role. Please note: this volunteer tends to work on his/her own.
Sorting Table & Merchandiser
Take a peek at all the great items before they hit the sales floor! Volunteers on the Sorting Tables help process donated household items such as dishes, knick-knacks, pictures, vases, kitchenware, etc. Items are processed by first inspecting them for damage or broken pieces, cleaning them, pricing and then preparing items for the sales floor. Merchandising volunteers help place these items onto our shelves and create attractive displays that appeal to customers. A well-placed display can help move a product, so this is a very important role. Training will be given on how to price items.
Tool Testing & Sorting
Can’t get enough of tools? The tool room is where volunteers test, clean, and fix up any kind of tool that comes into the ReStore. It could be as simple as sorting gardening tools like shovels to testing lawnmowers and other hand tools like drills and saws. If you're someone who likes to tinker and you are a problem solver, this is the perfect role for you.
Yard Associate - Outside Receiver (Comox Valley ReStore)
Volunteers in the yard area help sort donations as they come into the ReStore. If staff determine donations are in acceptable condition, they are cleaned, given a look over for any damage or broken pieces, then priced for sale on the floor or in the yard. This role has a lot of movement, some lifting, and lots of variety. It’s perfect for that volunteer who likes to move around and doesn’t mind a bit of physical effort. You may be asked to help carry heavy items from receiving onto the sales floor or to help carry customers’ purchases into their vehicles. This role is also outside under our covered yard area, so warm clothes and a love of fresh air are key.
There is more to building homes than using muscles and a hammer. Each role at Habitat is as important as any other. One of these roles is baking! Yes, that's right, if you enjoy baking but don’t want to eat it all yourself, then this is the role for you. Baked goods should be clearly labeled with common allergens like nuts, gluten, etc. This is considered a donation of time and ingredients, so we encourage bakers to use economical ingredients. We typically have about 20 individuals working in the store on any given day, so we ask quantities of baked goods are about 2 dozen. Freshly baked treats make all our volunteers and crew feel very good as we work towards building homes for local families.